The Literacy Alliance serves any adult in Northeast Florida over the age of 16 who wants to improve their literacy skills. Our students usually have a goal in mind when they enroll. Often they want to improve their skills to find a job, get promoted at work, or gain a career license. Just as often, they have more personal goals such as engaging with their faith, reading the newspaper, or reading with their children and grandchildren. Whatever goal they have in mind, we have a program that will help them achieve it and succeed.
Most programs take place at the Jessie Ball duPont Center or Bethel Baptist Church in downtown Jacksonville. Computer learning takes place at a dedicated computer lab at the duPont Center, and tutoring takes place at the duPont Center and at public locations throughout the community such as neighborhood libraries. A specialized program also provides instruction at three Sheriff’s Office corrections sites.
Strategies to Excel Adult Education
Our Adult Education program is designed to support students in improving their reading, writing, math, or computer literacy skills. Our adult education students are typically native English speakers who were unable to graduate from high school, or high school graduates who find that they need to improve their basic literacy skills. In order to best serve our learners, we utilize an individualized approach that keeps their goals at the center of instruction. This approach includes a combination of small group classes, computer based instruction including smartphone apps, and one on one tutoring with a trained volunteer. Instruction takes place on a weekly basis with students attending 2 – 3 sessions depending on their schedule.
Students enrolled in our adult education program will also receive instruction in the basics of using a computer and navigating the internet. Additionally, any adult learner who wants to learn how to use a computer and participate in online programs can schedule time in our computer lab as well as work with available tutors for individualized guidance.
As part of our Life Literacy series of classes, we offer a workshop series and contextual learning on financial literacy including basic principles of banking, credit, managing your money, and protecting your identity. In addition to the workshops, financial literacy is incorporated into the math components of our adult education classes and many of our tutors are willing to work with students on improving their understanding of money and finances.
This portion of our programming is made possible by grants from Wells Fargo and the Florida Literacy Coalition.
Also part of our Life Literacy series, this instruction helps students read and comprehend medical and health information. While presenting concepts on physical and mental health, instructors and tutors also use the subjects to provide contextual reading, writing, and comprehension for students also involved in our adult education program.
Our Health LIteracy work is made possible by support from Florida Blue and the Florida Literacy Coalition.
Also part of our Life Literacy workshops as well as integrated into goal setting and tutoring is career coaching for adults focused on improving their literacy skills. We utilize an online tool developed by our national partner, ProLiteracy, known as Workforce Atlas to assist students in learning about careers and their requirements while also improving their literacy skills.
Starting in the fall of 2020, the Literacy Alliance will offer its first workshop series for adult learners on family literacy. This program provides parents an opportunity to support their children’s literacy development while improving their own literacy skills at the same time. Centered on the belief that parents are their children’s first teachers, the program incorporates focused literacy instruction for parents and children, fostering both a habit and a love of reading among the families we serve.